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UK to overhaul privacy rules in post-Brexit departure from GDPR

The Guardian

Britain will attempt to move away from European data protection regulations as it overhauls its privacy rules after Brexit, the government has announced. The freedom to chart its own course could lead to an end to irritating cookie popups and consent requests online, said the culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, as he called for rules based on "common sense, not box-ticking". But any changes will be constrained by the need to offer a new regime that the EU deems adequate, otherwise data transfers between the UK and EU could be frozen. A new information commissioner will be put in charge of overseeing the transformation. John Edwards, currently the privacy commissioner of New Zealand, has been named as the government's preferred candidate to replace Elizabeth Denham, whose term in office will end on 31 October after a three-month extension.

Australia appoints information and privacy commissioner


Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter has announced appointing Angelene Falk as the nation's information commissioner and privacy commissioner for the next three years. Falk has been serving as interim commissioner since March, after stepping into it from her deputy role following former Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim's departure. According to Porter, Falk has previously focused particularly on "regulatory challenges and potential uses of data in a global environment", as well as promoting public access to government data. She also helped implement the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, which came into effect in February this year. "Falk has extensive experience delivering the functions of independent regulators and a track record of working across Commonwealth and state agencies, business, and the community in law, policy, and education," Porter said on Friday.

Australian privacy commissioner opens Facebook investigation


After it was revealed over 311,127 Australians were caught up in the improper use of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has opened an official investigation into the social media giant. The investigation will consider whether Facebook has breached the Privacy Act 1988. In a statement on Thursday, acting Information and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk said given the global nature of the matter, the OAIC will confer with regulatory authorities internationally. "All organisations that are covered by the Privacy Act have obligations in relation to the personal information that they hold," she said. "This includes taking reasonable steps to ensure that personal information is held securely, and ensuring that customers are adequately notified about the collection and handling of their personal information."

Equifax fined £500,000 over customer data breach


Equifax has been issued a £500,000 fine after a catastrophic data breach in 2017 led to the compromise of data belonging to up to 15 million UK citizens. The credit monitoring service experienced a data breach last year in which 146 million records were stolen. Customers worldwide were affected, with the majority living in the United States. The information exposed due to lax security practices included names, dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers, driver's license details, Social Security numbers, and credit card data. Equifax blamed a vulnerability in the Apache Struts framework for the cyberattack.

Cambridge Analytica ordered to turn over man's data or face prosecution

The Independent - Tech

UK authorities have ordered consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to hand over all the personal information it has on an American professor or face prosecution. Coming in the wake of a roiling controversy over online privacy that has led Cambridge Analytica to cease operations, the case could spur criminal penalties and have broad privacy implications. In January of 2017, more than a year before it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had garnered information encompassing up to 87 million Facebook users, Professor David Carroll asked the consulting firm to explain what days it had gathered on him. Dissatisfied with the company's response, Mr Carroll appealed to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). He believed Cambridge Analytica had not shared the entirety of its data on him and that it had not explained how it accumulated the information it had.